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Poster: scotch_glass Date: May 9, 2011 4:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

I am reaching out to the experts to help me find the answer to a question that has recently riddled me.

Many of the Grateful Dead sets are continuous jams or suites that seamlessly segue from song to song. I understand some of these songs always go hand in hand (e.g. China/Rider, Scarlet/ Fire, Dark Star> St Stephen, etc.) My question is, in cases like the recent Road Trips was the Truckin'> Nobody's Fault But Mine> Goin' Down The Road> Uncle John's Band> Truckin' or Playin'>El Paso> Playin'> Wharf Rat> Playin' pre planned or was this just a magnificent example of the band feeding off of each other's playing and going into whatever song one of them was feeling. If it is the latter, were there certain signals they used or would one member just start playing parts of the next song and wait for others to join in?

I also thought of this question recently when listening to 02/02/68, at the end of Clementine you can hear several hints at Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (about 3 times) before the whole band actually goes into the whole song.

Thanks to anyone who can enlighten me!

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Poster: stratocaster Date: May 9, 2011 5:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

sometimes they discussed the set pieces in advance or during, sometimes they just happened...transitions are made smoother and "easier" when they shift to a different tune or jam that is in the same key and/ or same rhythm...example of both happening is 03-31-73

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: May 10, 2011 5:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

good thread

Thanks for asking the question scotch glass

of course I have nothing to contribute

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: May 10, 2011 8:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

You bat rastard!!! I just snorked coffee all over my keyboard, it was Jamaicain Blue Mountain and it burned my sinuses.

Nothing to contribute?????

I beg to differ.

Nothing "useful" perhaps, but not "nothing". Well done Jim.

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Poster: reviewr Date: May 9, 2011 7:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

This is a great question. For a good answer I think you have to refer to the band. I read Phil's book a couple of years ago, and don't remember him saying anything about this.
I love when they play 2 songs at once. An awsome example that I recently heard is this segue between Stella and Not Fade:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd78-12-19.aud-sony.wagner.19507.sbeok.flacf
I do remember reading somewhere a band member saying that when Vince and Bruce where new that they would talk about how the "jams" would unfold in the second set (during the break).

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Poster: high flow Date: May 9, 2011 8:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

It has become clear that The Grateful Dead practiced a lot more than we were led to believe. The great tours were preceded by some great rehearsal efforts. Whether making and album, breaking-in a new band member or just honing their chops for a monumental tour, they were far more focused than they let on.

This post was modified by high flow on 2011-05-10 03:06:19

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: May 10, 2011 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

highflow, I have to totally agree with you as this kind of music is very well rehearsed almost to the point where multiple shows are down and are polished to a certain extent.Now when I presented this question quite a few months ago about set lists there was a more contentious feel to the responses. I still contend that they had to know what they were going to do for the sake of the lighting and sound crews.I read Nick Mason's book on Pink Flodys history which kind of resembles the Deads history but what was really interesting was once they got mega big just like the Dead W/the WOS era was how the crews had to rehearse to set-up and break down monster sets . ALL of it is reheased to some degree...LW

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 9, 2011 11:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

Well, maybe this is a good chance to do some detailed listening. You list the recent road trips setlist wrong assuming we are discussing volume 4 number 3, the sequence is Truckin->Nobody's Fault->GDTRFB->One more saturday Night, UJB is the encore.

Truckin->Nobody's fault is more or less a conventional pairing for the era - both songs can be described as E blues, and they contrast nicely because Truckin is E major/mixo blues and Nobody's fault is E minor blues. GDTRFB is in E major and a few seconds before the transition, Phil plays the GDTRFB riff against the minor and the rest of the band follows him a few seconds later, after Jerry concludes the phrase he was playing. I don't know how to determine if the rest of the band just instantly heard Phil's suggestion and it was spontaneous, or if they knew GDTRFB was the next song so he was playing a "signal" for a prearranged change.

The transition into One More Saturday Night seems like it must have been "called" - because at the very end of the post GDTRFB AWBYGN jam, Jerry makes a somewhat dissonant key change to the C blues that Bob's riff for that song starts with. The transition works but isn't musically developed, really. LiA mentioned in his post a quote from Jerry about Bobby liking the "splices".

As for the other sequence, Miss 1/2 step->Playin->El Paso->Playin->Wharf Rat->Playin->Morning Dew, I think it must have been mostly preplanned, although the key sequences are very natural. The final 1/2 step jam on the rio gran-dee-o chords is A maj D maj and Playin starts on D and the band seems to know exactly what they are doing with no prehinting of the playin theme. They also seem to know El Paso is coming because the playin d minor dorian jam suddenly changes to major a minute before the end and they establish a pulse for El Paso and Jerry confidently starts the distinctive accompaniment. I already mentioned in a previous post the retransition back to the Playin jam directly moves back to the minor dorian from the final chord of El Paso.

The transition to Wharf Rat sounds the most "spur of the moment" to me, because the Playin jam seems to naturally move to A without Wharf Rat being stated - if anything, I would say the playin jam drifts in the direction of Dark Star, and Wharf Rat fits naturally in the same tonality. Of course, it could be Wharf Rat was also known in advance and any gradual transition the Dead do in A mixolydian is going to sound dark star-ish.

At this point in time, I believe Playing always concluded with the "reprise" section, so I think the band knew they were going to return to finish it. (LIA posted 12/2/73 as the first non-reprise PITB? Makes sense because Donna was gone for that show?) The transition seems like it must have been a semi-gestural stage cue - a glance exchanged amongst everyone, a head nod to indicate the moment was right to turn the corner? The final transition to Morning Dew might well have been spontaneous, because they had been exploring a lot of different ways to use PITB and Dew in the same jam in November 1973! This dew, by the way, seems slightly flawed to me by guitars that have drifted out of tune in the course of the long jam.

I think a lot of these fall 1973 shows with really wonderful interwoven setlists with great connections between songs show preplanning of at least some of the key connections, perhaps to a greater extent than many shows. I don't think that should "count against them" in any way - the musical quality is superlative, and these shows are masterpieces of improvisation. It is easy to overrate the value of pure spontaneity - the Grateful Dead were often more rehearsed and carefully constructed than the mythos might suggest.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 10, 2011 3:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

A couple brief notes:

I think GDTRFB>OMSN was a fairly common segue, and it was always abrupt. I think there's just no way to "jam" into the Saturday Night intro (at least I don't remember any examples right now), it always has to start cold after they stop the previous tune. Sugar Magnolia has a big advantage in that regard - Weir could start doing that intro anywhere, and often did!

As for Wharf Rat possibly being spontaneous; my theory is that over the years Jerry kept his "ballad slot" choice open - so the band knows they're going into a slow Jerry tune, but not which one, since he preferred to go with the mood of the moment. I could be mistaken (or thinking more of the '80s), but I think there are many instances where the band sort of drifts for a bit before Jerry makes his choice, or where he rejects a call (for, say, Wharf Rat) that Lesh or Weir makes.

As for Morning Dew, I suspect every time it was used in a segue in late '73 was well-planned - that song has a very 'set' climax, so they already know when they're going to shift it into Playing or UJB, and do it very deftly.
The most surprising example is actually the famous 10/18/72 show, where that Dark Star>Dew>Playing reprise comes out of nowhere, was obviously planned out, and yet nothing like it was repeated for another year!

The careful construction of Dead sets is in itself an interesting subject. For listeners used to the format of later years, where a whole set can be carefully segued & emotionally plotted, these early '70s second sets can seem almost haphazard sometimes. Aside from the individual song segues, there's a larger story over the years of the different ways the Dead used long medleys to tie their sets together.

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Poster: scotch_glass Date: May 10, 2011 3:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

Thanks to LiA and all for their input and really taking off with discussion on this topic. I suppose my answer lies in some of the quotes posted by the band members. I am fortunate to be in the very "infant" stage of my research into the band and their music. The resource of the Archive and the forum is a very valuable tool. It does feel overwhelming at times to know there is so much material to listen to but it never takes away from the enjoyment of listening. It's discussions like this that make you realize how much there is to the Grateful Dead"s music.

Listening to the music "comprehensively and analytically", as bkidwell put it, has been an eye opening experience for me. While my previous appreciation of the band was limited to offical releases, my deeper exploration into the entire band's history has led me to a whole new level of pleasure while listening to show after show. With notebook and iPod constantly in tow, I hope to someday make my observations and writings a resource for all to enjoy and possibly learn from.

Back on topic, I can't help but feel like it takes a little away from the mysitique that some of the playing knowing that it was pre-planned in some way. In no means does it make it any less enjoyable though. With that being said, an example like the segment from 3/23/74, Playin> Uncle John's Band> Morning Dew> Uncle John's Band> Playin can easily prove me wrong because quite possibly the first 3 songs were pre-planned but then spontaneously reverted back to how it began. This musical palindrome whether planned or not is still one of my favorite moments that I have listened to during the infancy of my musical journey.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 10, 2011 3:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

I can't resist posting just on the basis of the fact that we both wrote posts in responses to each other's posts (see mine above) that make reference to the 10/18/72 that were submitted about 90 seconds apart. I guess that show is an inevitable reference point in terms of Playin segues.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: May 10, 2011 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...TJI

Infancy? (~)Six years puts this Forum in the first grade (or at least out of kindergarten), does it not?

Excellent scholarship my friends! Quite the unusual topic for morning meditation, I find.

TJI http://www.archive.org/details/gd1981-03-20.sndchk.aud.seaweed.113433.flac1644 adds an unusual post script to this thread, BTW, IMHO, YMMV,(did I miss any other scholarly acronyms?)....

Many thanks,

This post was modified by Jack o' Roses on 2011-05-10 12:47:34

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 10, 2011 9:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

This is an example of a great question that has no simple answer. In some cases, there was almost certainly deliberate preplanning of a setlist and even agreement about how it would "work" - in the case of the recent road trips, I think the transition from El Paso back to the Playin' jam must have been prearranged, because they change the final chord of El Paso to minor suddenly within a few seconds. Something that specific seems like a certainty they had a pre-set "huddle" where that was decided.

There are also plenty of examples to prove that the song transitions could also be spontaneous - one very famous example (also involving El Paso) is the 8/27/72 Dark Star, where Jerry can be heard starting "Morning Dew" right as Bobby starts El Paso, and Bill Kreutzmann follows Bob, with the rest of the band locking on so fast it sounds preplanned.

The entire subject of the musical mechanics of transitions is fascinating to me, and the topic hasn't really been discussed with sufficient detail and depth, at least not that I know! There are transitions done by using a melodic fragment of a song to "cue" the band, there are transitions done by starting the "vamp" of the song on top of chaotic jamming and waiting for the band to coalesce around it, there are transitions done as a sudden splice between them (the first set cowboy medleys for instance) and there are transitions with a very "composed" sense to them, like the famous return to the Uncle John's jam from Jerry's climactic solo in Morning Dew as best heard on 11/17/73.

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-05-10 07:51:31

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-05-11 04:37:06

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 9, 2011 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: a digression

"the topic hasn't really been discussed with sufficient detail and depth..."

I was amused by that comment!
The only solution, of course, is to tackle the discussion yourself... I also feel that "sufficient detail & depth" are things that are never applied to the Dead's music - of course I've done my best to contribute a few teaspoons...

The thing is, Dead studies are really still in their infancy. For many years, discussion about the Dead (online, anyway) has mostly been at a "newbie" level where the same basic things get discovered over & over. (The Archive collection has only existed for what, six years; before that, it took a lot more effort to study the Dead's live music; and God knows how many traders you'd have to find to collect, say, every single Europe '72 show...)
It takes a lot of listening & a long time for anyone to become really familiar with the wide range of Dead music; and I've noticed in the past that even when someone does seem to know the music in-depth, it doesn't mean they share much of it with others, so when they lose interest their knowledge sort of dies with them (so to speak) and doesn't get transmitted.
But I think little by little, a kind of basic Dead info-base will be built up online (and in print), making it much easier for Dead listeners in the future to find answers, or at least be able to ask more detailed questions. I suspect (or hope) in the next generation Dead fans will have more resources to turn to than we've had!

Your comment reminded me of this recent scholarly symposium on the Dead - http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/browbeat/archive/2011/05/06/improvisational-structure-in-dark-star-1969-1972.aspx -
where various professors discussed things like, yes, improvisation in Dark Star. (Actually, many of the topics sound pretty academic & ridiculous - but the point is, I think the kind of discussions you're looking for ARE taking place, just in different contexts and between far fewer people at the moment.)

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 9, 2011 10:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

I agree with everything you said, although I would say we are past the "infancy" at least! Compared to most performers and recording artists, we have a huge amount of detailed material and analysis - it's just that the music is so rich it's an unending task. Some musicologists specialize in reading the handwriting of Beethoven's compositional notebooks and we have a long way to go before we reach that level of specialization. In general the social/cultural scholarship seems to be more developed than strictly musical concerns.

The quantity of listening hours that must be invested is definitely a barrier - as a tape trader/collector in the 90s with Deadbase in hand, and as a musician with the printed sheet music anthologies, I certainly felt like I knew the music well, but a 50+ show collection on cassette tapes still only gives you a glimpse of everything the band did.

Something like really understanding segues, conventional, predetermined, and spontaneous, requires focused listening to at least a thousand hours of recordings and also taking written notes on what you are hearing, as well as being able to "parse" the music. Unless you have a very trained ear, being able to identify a chord progression whenever it occurs and follow modulation between keys, a lot of detail may escape you even if you are listening in a focused way. You can sit with an instrument and try to play along with a recording, and rewind and fast forward to study the critical moments, but all of this can detract from why you want to hear the music in the first place - to enjoy it!

I've been personally inspired for the past several years by the high level of writing and research shown by you and many other posters here and bloggers in the community, so I spent a lot of time trying to listen more comprehensively and analytically, and start making some written notes about what I was hearing. Some stuff I've already posted is based on fragments of on an ongoing (2 years and counting of written notes) listening project on "Playing in the Band". With any luck I'll have more of that turned into some kind of set of essays soon. The history of PITB overlaps the history of segues, but even so, my listening notes are rarely detailed enough to describe the exact musical mechanisms of every entry and exit point of every Playin-related jam...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 10, 2011 2:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

Yes, the social/cultural aspects of the Dead have always captured more attention than their music did!

And OK, maybe Dead studies are out of "infancy"... I do feel they're kind of at a turning-point, now that the Dead are more 'academically' accepted, now that there's a huge streaming archive that's been available for a few years for people to absorb (along with easy downloads elsewhere of every show), and now that more younger people who never saw the Dead are getting into the music. So I think we'll come to see a broader perspective on the Dead that previously only fanatic collectors could have.

Of course the listening does take time - there are enough shows for a lifetime! And I do know it can be hard to really enter the 'discussion' when you've heard only X many shows and everyone else seems to have heard hundreds... (And the number of people who really want to analyze the music is pretty minute, anyway. Deadheads are generally content to just listen & bicker!)
Fortunately, Dead music is quite addictive for many, so the listening hours aren't that much of a challenge!

Even so, I still feel that writing on the band is currently lagging. You'd think there would be more Dead-review blogs (or books) out there than there are. (Though there are probably many I haven't seen!)
I had hoped that my posts would inspire future writers - that was kind of the point - but when I started, I certainly wasn't inspired by other bloggers, since I wasn't aware of any who were doing what I wanted to read. (There were isolated posts on this forum that were really in-depth & illuminating, but few & far between.) Eventually I felt that I would have to write out these basic 'guide'-type posts myself, if no one else would, despite feeling woefully unqualified.

Coincidentally, I will soon be finishing my own PITB essay - although it won't be as detailed as yours sounds, and as usual will be much briefer than I'd like. (I realized early on I couldn't hope to describe the music!)
I would guess you've also experienced that a musical jam can change dramatically from one listening to another, so that each time you hear it is like hearing a different piece, or new things emerge that you hadn't noticed, since your focus keeps changing. Trying to pin a jam in words is not too easy....

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 10, 2011 2:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

I suspect there won't be too much overlap between our mini-essays on PITB - you usually keep a close focus on the band's peak years, and the story about the Playin' I am trying to tell is about how the mood and musical materials of the jam evolved over its full lifetime, with special emphasis on the later years. I have certainly listened to many of the peak versions from the glory years, with 10/18/72, 11/18/72, 10/21/73 and several other late 73 sets, 5/21/74 being some of the performances I'd guess you will mention in a survey of historically important versions for various reasons. A lot of what I know nowdays, I know from lurking and searching these forums for old threads about "best versions" and listening to everyone's recommendations, along with consulting the classics like Deadbase 8 Feedback survey and show reviews from the Taper's compendium.

There's a cliche old quote "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" which is funny and dramatizes the challenge. My absolute favorite writer about music is Donald Francis Tovey, who wrote a lot of essays about the masterworks of European music which combine a description of the musical materials, their development, the tonal architecture, and principles of aesthetics.

I'd also like to say that I am a hopefully well-trained musician who is consistently impressed by your writing about the music, the sharpness of your perception and accuracy of making connections in what you hear, so I encourage you to write what you hear, even if you aren't expressing it in the technical vocabulary of music theory.

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Poster: ducats Date: May 10, 2011 5:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

safe to say my posts don't go under the "illuminating" category?

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: May 10, 2011 8:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

Re: "I suspect (or hope) in the next generation Dead fans will have more resources to turn to than we've had!"

Can I please respond to this, and speak for my generation about this?

No Way! We had "the band"! - in the early 1970s. Here's the resources me & my peers had in "my generation".

rfk19730610_0977_cropped.jpg

And, I would never trade these experiences - not even for all the resources you'll be having in the future.

Read some of Ghost of Pig's posts. Or, for example, consider that 6 months ago Cliff Hucker posted this:

Just stumbled across this brand new Youtube clip of Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Fillmore West from 11/7/68.

I guess we can only imagine the music the Grateful Dead performed that night, but the QMS set is likely among their very best performances of all-time. Check out the smokey jam instrumental Cowboys & Indians-> Babe I'm Gonna Leave You...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0l4qh-aUDY

QMS could tear your face off. I just can't believe anyone could possibly survive back to back performances of the two bands in 1968.

The partial 11/7/68 QMS set is available at Wolfgang's, if you tire of the Youtube clips. Sound quality is perfect. Oh how I wish that I was born 10 years earlier...

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/quicksilver-messenger-service/concerts/fillmore-west-november-07-1968.html

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Poster: Edsel Date: May 10, 2011 9:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a digression

"And, I would never trade these experiences - not even for all the resources you'll be having in the future."

Ab so lutely !

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 9, 2011 8:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

The thing is, it could go both ways - sometimes the segues were planned ahead, sometimes they just came up at the moment.
I think those big 1973 Playing segues were generally planned out - not necessarily song-for-song always, but they knew they'd be segueing from A to B, and from there back to A or maybe to C....
If there isn't a plan, sometimes they'll segue smoothly when someone throws a song out into a jam, sometimes they'll be undecided for a while, and sometimes they'll disagree - a famous example being Jerry's call for Goin' Down the Road on 4/26/72. Generally they were practiced enough that they could make almost any segue sound intentional - but you can tell Weir often takes Jerry by surprise with his sudden leaps into a song!

A while ago I looked up a bunch of quotes from the '80s about how much the band planned out their sets.
http://www.archive.org/post/326615/the-band-talks-about-setlists
Of course, the '80s Dead may have done things a bit differently than their earlier selves; but they weren't asked about this stuff in the early years! (And many of these comments are more about song order than specifically about segue choices.)

I'll take the liberty of repeating the quotes here:

Brent: “The day before my first concert I asked what tunes we’d be doing, so I could concentrate on those songs, but no one would tell me. It freaked me a bit, but then when we got on stage I realized that nobody knew what we were going to play. Keeps you on your toes…”
Garcia: “Usually on the first set, Weir and I try to remember which of us went first last show.”
Weir: “Some of it is up to what tunes are up in the rotation; some of it is just how it feels like it will fall together best. The first set, we’ll usually set the first two or three songs and then go on from there. Usually we have a little huddle before the second set and try to plan out the first half of the second set, based on how it’s gone so far, and what we feel like singing. Often enough, though, that gets tossed aside. Sometimes we don’t even start with the song we just agreed on – someone gets a different idea once we’re onstage.”
Garcia: “Sometimes we plan, but more often than not, we find that when we do, we change our plans. Sometimes we talk down a skeleton of the second set, to give ourselves some form – but it depends. The important thing is that it not be dull and that the experience of playing doesn’t get boring. Being stale is death.”
Weir: “We generally try to plot the songs as best we can, and leave them open for something. Oftentimes we’ll say, ‘We’ll do this, and follow it with this, and take it into this space, and see where it goes.’ That’s pretty much the standard. It’s not all that often that we plot out a set exactly, unless somebody has a real precise idea of what they want to do. And even then, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether it’ll come out the way it was planned. Most often, we plan it up to a certain point.”
Weir: “We sort of roughly mapped out how we were going to start a setlist and end a setlist. Jerry & I would do that because we were trading vocals, and then in the middle of the set, while Jer was singing, I had all the time on earth to figure out what I was going to do next.”
Garcia: “Sometimes you think of two songs as being sort of thematic, or they build on each other. I don’t even have a song list, which is real stupid. If I was just a bit more organized I’d have a printed copy of the songs we do…”
Phil: “I pretty much let them decide what they want to sing. Which may be a mistake, since we do get into ruts. What we need is a song list hanging everywhere that lists all our songs…”
Weir on Space: “For a while there, we would discuss current events or something before we went out, and every now & then we’ll still do it – come up with a motif for the jam. It’s almost never anything real serious… I think the night Bob Marley checked out we tried to do a little musical eulogy. Usually though, we’re just amusing ourselves back there during the drum solo, coming up with joke motifs for the jam: ‘Okay, you’re the stewardess aboard this hijacked airliner,’ or something like that.”
Weir: “Sometimes people drop hints in a jam to indicate what direction they might want to take it. After the jam’s gone wherever it’s going to go, someone will introduce something that suggests a direction, and then someone else will take a melody or theme and work that into something we already know. We’ll either pick up on it or we won’t… If I don’t hear something coming, or if I have an idea that I think might work & I assert it, sometimes someone will pick up on it, and sometimes it goes by unnoticed.”
Garcia: “Eventually I hope we can dispense with some of the regular things in our show that have gotten to be so predictable… We used to have material that went in more directions, but the nature of difficult material is that it’s easy to forget… We tend to be habitual: if there’s a formula that works, we tend to repeat it and do it to death. If you go to a lot of shows, you start to think, ‘These guys sure love this transition, they’re doing it all the fucking time!’… It used to be we’d go from one song into a wholly different kind of song, where the transition itself would be a piece of music – lately it’s much less that… When I choose to go from one song into another, I like a segue; Bob doesn’t seem to care. A lot of times we’ll discuss an idea before the second set, like Weir will say, ‘Let’s do Playing in the Band into Uncle John’s Band, into something.’ ‘Okay, sounds good.’ And more often than not they tend to chop off – Bob tends to splice them together.”
Phil: “We still have a lot of bad habits…the transitions are too short…we haven’t really explored a lot of the transitions. Usually the tunes are just juxtaposed brutally. There are many other ways we haven’t explored. The best thing to do would be if we’re sitting together, say during the drums, waiting to decide what to do next, we could really focus on some transitions: say, at the end of this tune we’ll use this scale or this set of chords, and change it to this scale which will put us in the key for the next song. But we hardly ever do that…out of thoughtlessness, or force of habit. Sometimes we might just want to finish the tune, finish the set, and get on with the encore!”

[Phil & Jerry actually had a disagreement over this – Jerry felt they’d done all the transitions, liked to repeat familiar segues, and felt like there was a limited amount of ‘open’ material they had, as he said they’d “used up” a lot of stuff – but Phil felt that they could open up the songs a lot more & the band was getting too static…]

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: May 10, 2011 6:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

[Phil & Jerry actually had a disagreement over this – Jerry felt they’d done all the transitions, liked to repeat familiar segues, and felt like there was a limited amount of ‘open’ material they had, as he said they’d “used up” a lot of stuff – but Phil felt that they could open up the songs a lot more & the band was getting too static…]

I find this sad that Garcia felt this way, It shows how bored he was . I think Phil saw more doors that could be opened .But even when they had newer material, it seems they still didn't go anywhere as far as they could . I always sigh, when they would play "Days Between", and (Weir...) abruptly switch to the closer . This sort of musical insensitivty/bordom drives me nuts .
With this new RTs , I love the variety of transitions they used . The first time you hear Phil do his Wharf Rat into riff, you know the are probably going to go there, but they take their t i m e , to gently slide into it . It is just lovely !

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: May 10, 2011 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

"I find this sad that Garcia felt this way, It shows how bored he was "

more like strung out and lazy imo

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: May 10, 2011 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

...Well , sadly, yeah , that too .
With the JGB , his pony, there are not too many real transitions, and the main song they took "out", was "Don't Let go" , He didn't seem to get bored with that song. So go figure .
It just seems his "comfort zone" got smaller and smaller .

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